Top Global Public Health Degrees

Public health degrees allow people to work in a field where they are truly making a difference, as public health professionals have a large hand in observing and maintaining the general overall health of the public. Global public health degrees focus on this public health maintenance, but on a global or international scale, allowing people with these degrees to work in a wide variety of different international settings as they help communities to remain healthy all across the globe.

Global public health professionals may work in many different settings from hospitals to community centers, and their job can be done from any desired location in the world. The work done by global public health professionals helps entire communities and populations continue to thrive through health based education, research, and solutions.

Featured Online MPH Programs for Global Health

For those interested in pursuing a global public health degree, the top 5 schools and programs to consider are:


Colorado State University Colorado School of Public Health

Certificate in Global Public Health

The certificate in global public health program offered by Colorado State University Colorado School of Public Health focuses on global health problems and solutions around the world and prepares students to work in a public health setting on an international scale. This program is geared towards graduate students who wish to expand their career potential and it requires 15 credit hours to complete. These 15 credit hours are comprised of 10 required credits and 5 elective  credits to be chosen by the student as it pertains to his or her professional interests.

In state students can expect a tuition rate of around $674 per credit hour while out of state students can expect a rate of $1,215 per credit hour.


University of Michigan School of Public Health

Global Public Health Certificate

The global public health certificate program offered by University of Michigan’s School of Public Health focuses on analyzing global health concerns and using critical thinking and research skills to come up with answers and solutions. Internships and other hands-on training programs are available through the school as part of the program to allow students to gain real-world knowledge of global public health that can be used throughout the course of their professional careers.

This program also allows for study abroad opportunities and in 2013 alone 26 students were sent to 16 different countries to gain experience in tackling global public health concerns.

Full time students who live within the state of Michigan can expect to pay around $12,198 per semester in tuition while out of state students will pay $20,167.

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University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health

Certificate in Global Health

University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health offers a global public health certificate program that can be obtained entirely through online study. This is great for students who are looking to continue on with their professional careers while earning their public health certificate, as it allows for optimal schedule flexibility in their studies. This graduate study program is comprised of 12 required credit hours and focuses on preparing graduates to work with populations and communities all throughout the world.

3 to 5 years of public health work is preferred for those enrolling into this particular certificate program.

Students living in the state of North Carolina can expect to pay around $4,604 for full time study per semester while out of state students will pay $12,831.


UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Global Health Certificate

UCLA Fielding’s School of Public Health offers a global health certificate program for graduate students already working in the public health field who wish to further their professional career on a global scale. This certificate may also be given to public health students who complete the required coursework throughout the course of their public health studies that allow for this certificate, or a separate certificate program may be taken as well.

Tuition will cost around $25,000 per year of academic study at the school.


NYU School of Medicine

MD/MPH in Global Public Health Program

This MD/MPH dual degree program focuses on global public health and allows graduates to be prepared to be leaders in a global health setting. This degree can be completed using either a 4 or 5 year study track, with the 5 year study track allowing for more flexibility within a student’s schedule.

Students can expect to pay around $51,060 per year in tuition during the course of this program.


Selection Criteria for Global Public Health Degrees


The quality of any public health program rests on the academic standards of the department that offers it. The qualifications of the faculty, the research and reference resources available, the subjects covered in the curriculum, the standards for administrative support and evaluation… these are all aspects of your degree program that you really want to know are nailed down.

That’s why accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) is a crucial criteria behind the schools on this list. As the speciality accreditation agency for public health programs recognized by the U.S. Department of Educationsince 1974, CEPH evaluates public health schools according to the unique demands and core competencies required for public health service. Accreditation is so important that it is a requirement in order to sit for the major professional certification exam, the CPH (Certified in Public Health) from NBPHE (National Board of Public Health Examiners).


Public health is a field that is constantly evolving, and it’s evolving because of the hard work that instructors and students put into both statistical and on-the-ground research efforts. Getting directly involved in the front-line investigations of emerging threats, old epidemiological issues, and new challenges such as the health effects of climate change are all deeply important not only to the state of knowledge in public health, but to your own formative experiences in the field.

Even if you’re only going in for a certificate program, the exposure to faculty and investigations with current and real-world application is important in ensuring your education hits all the right points in modern public health education.


Although the CEPH accreditation process covers the basic skills and qualifications that a public health program must require of faculty, there’s plenty of room above that baseline for schools to distinguish themselves. There’s no question that it’s a field that has rock stars… professors like Minnesota’s Ancel Keys, who launched the revolutionary Seven Countries Study, or James Harlan Steele of UT, widely considered to be the father of veterinary public health.

And while not every school has a faculty that reaches those heights, there are many that have instructors who are highly respected in the field. We sought out programs who have faculty with genuine on-the-ground experience and expertise in the field who are active in making important contributions in both research and practice.


Although cost was not our primary consideration in developing this list, it’s always something to look at when considering what school to pick for a degree or certificate. So while we chose only schools that are the very best in the field, we let you know what the costs will look like so you can choose something that is not only excellent, but affordable.

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The top schools in public health don’t hide their light under a bushel; usually we’re not the only ones who have figured out they belong on lists like this. We consider the opinions of other popular third-party rankings, such as those from The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report, or the Economist. Chances are good that a school we’ve found at the top of the spectrum has also been well-reviewed by one or more of them.

Remote Learning

When looking at certificate programs, it’s a huge benefit to have online options. But there is a whole new set of considerations you have to apply beyond the basics required of any public health program. Is the remote program synchronous or asynchronous? Do you have the same access to faculty as on campus students? What kind of technical support is offered? How do experiential learning requirements and research opportunities fit in? These are all aspect that we consider before deciding what programs truly fit into the top choices in global health today.



All schools shown here have been contacted and informed of their inclusion on this list. Schools that do not wish to be featured are immediately removed. School names are the registered trademarks of their original owners. The use of any trade name or trademark does not imply any association with the school.

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